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Posts in Business
Attention + Empathy = Meaningful Interactions

I want to know everything. 

Everything you care about. The meat, not the surface. I have grown to dislike small talk. Something unuseful by design, an introduction without substance.

When you write an introduction to your book, a lead for your article, or record an introduction to your podcast, you (should) do it after the fact. After you make it, you can nitpick the substance or create suspense.

But what if we cared?

Oftentimes with small talk, it’s empty. Lack of interest and lack of substance. But what if we cared? What if we care about the people to start a conversation and maybe build a relationship? It surely doesn’t happen when we move on to business.

The ultimate conversation starter

“Tell me about yourself.”

A substitute for the small talk we dread. You know, the one about weather and traffic and busyness and how time flies by.

It’s great because it’s compassionate and non-judgmental. It doesn’t preconceive notions about the other person and leaves them free to form the story about themselves.

Maybe what she does for a living is not what she deems important. Maybe she’s not ready to tell you about her weekend. Maybe she wants a permission for your genuine attention.

And it costs nothing to try it out.

On sales

Sales is like polishing turd.

At least, it feels that way from the inside.

From the outside, it must never show. From the outside, it must look professional.

The product will never live up to your internal expectation. You built it and you know the ins and outs. It will always be a turd no matter what it looks like from the outside. No matter how well you polish, you will always see the dirt under the hood. And that's fine.

As we create new products, we cherish creativity and innovation at the cost of something else. The founder has a novel idea that brings value to the market. She combines skillset with creativity and puts her own skin in the game.

The corporation used to have that, too. It was once a founder with a great idea. But today, the turd is hidden elsewhere. Today, it's someone else's problem.

No company is perfect. No product is finished. No team is perfectly organized. Yet, the promise meets the expectation with a job well done.

It always starts with polishing turd.

It’s not about you

Words carry meaning. A paragraph is there for a reason.

Every word should be there for a reason. This should be here for a reason.

It’s easy to forget that words carry meaning. Words are everywhere. Sometimes we think ‘hey, we should put a paragraph of text here.’

Why? Because the page asks for it, everyone does it, or that’s how we’ve always done it.

We should have a name, a logo and a tagline. We should have a story. We should have a mission. We should have colors. We should have a design system. We should have a bio, a short one, a long one, and something in between. Just in case.

Everyone should know what we do. Really, please, read out all this crap we can do for you. Every single thing. Aren’t we great? We can do all those things. We’re the best. No, we’re better than the best. We’re the bestest.

If we did spell out what we do, we would be only that. We would be just another company trying to compete inside a category. And we would’ve successfully matched ourselves with the thousands of those who do what we do but cheaper. And you will never win if you sort by price.

What if we are something else.

What if we say how instead of what.

What if we say why.

What if we make things say things.

Is Elon weird?

It happened.

Elon Musk hosts meme review. If you ever thought about what it might feel like seeing Elon Musk lol out about a dead deer in a pool, I will save you the trouble. It is strange and satisfying.

I loled too.

Just like Joe Rogan’s podcast with Elon, this is the next level of Elon’s PR stunts. Granted, he never shied away from a good stunt. And by never, I mean never.

His Twitter doesn’t seem to have a publicist yet he’s more popular than ever. He will not hesitate to try legal consumables on air in front of millions of people. He will do a thoughtful interview with a YouTuber. And by popular demand, he will not refuse to be in a video with PewDiePie.

If you’re looking for triggers to be outraged you’re not alone. If not, keep reading. There might be a point.

I watched the interview on Joe Rogan multiple times. It’s three hour deep conversation into many unusual topics. In fact, I think it’s one of the best pieces of recent entertainment production.

Biographer Ashlee Vance attempted to write an objective biography with her book. In my opinion, he drew a biased birdseye profile of the controversial billionaire. He did just that. The book is about an eccentric, alien-like unpredictable individual who takes extreme risks and defies odds. He believes in physics above all else and is often rude to people.

Is he an alien?

After I read the book, I didn’t feel I learned that much about the guy.

When I listened, watched and re-watched the Joe Rogan podcast, it started to cohere. All the tweets, the stunts, the interviews, the controversies, the memes. The father, the move to Canada, the move to the US, the PayPal years, the MacLaren F1, Nevada, may God rest his soul, the divorce, Talulah Riley, SolarCity, SpaceX, Tesla, SEC, doubling down on Tesla…

A human being with flaws, feelings, desires, and fears.

A human being with flaws, problems and tough nuts unshakeable principles that break for no reason. A human being with desires, fears and feelings. A human being faced with extraordinary challenges that do not break him.

But give him clarity on his place in the universe. Elon is merely a human being.

Just a guy who laughs at memes and plays with fire.

Elon’s  not a flamethrower .